The enemy within: are modern European democracies afraid of introspection?

17 October 2016
Corina Stratulat (Head of European Politics and Institutions programme and Senior Policy Analyst)

Escorted by sensationalist media, modern technologies and politicians who connect to voters at the gut level and amplify the noisiest popular sentiments, many European citizens are disengaging from conventional politics and joining those professing moral outrage against many alleged culprits behind national decline. While this trend is clearly linked to substantial contemporary political and economic problems and insecurities, the inflammatory rhetoric in which it is coached follows a slippery slope to democratic subversion. In this Policy Brief, Corina Stratulat argues that the road to dealing with challenges starts from democratic societies’ own willingness to demonstrate capacity for reflection and renewal, rigorously in line with the liberal principles and values that warrant its polities the democratic name.

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